Soccer Defeats Ole Miss, 3-0
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team completed a weekend sweep of its SEC Western Division rivals from the Magnolia State, defeating Ole Miss by a 3-0 score on a brisk Sunday afternoon at the UGA Soccer Stadium. The Bulldogs earn the perfect weekend after Friday night's dramatic come-from-behind win over Mississippi State in double overtime.
Georgia improves to 10-4-0 (4-2-0 SEC) with the win, while the visiting Rebels fall to 5-8-1 (1-5-0) with today's loss. The Bulldogs have now scored seven unanswered goals as they scored four straight Friday night vs. MSU to overcome a late 3-0 deficit, then added three today in posting their third shutout of the year. The Bulldogs have now scored three or more goals in a game four times this season.
"This is a big win for us over a very good Ole Miss team," said head coach Steve Holeman. "After such an emotional win Friday night, we challenged the team to come out today and give us a great performance and they did that."
Georgia got on the board with its first goal of the day when sophomore attacker Carli Shultis fought for position on the end line past Ole Miss' back line, then sent a picture perfect feed to an awaiting Susannah Dennis in the middle. Dennis held up her end of the bargain, sending one into the corner to make it 1-0 with 33:34 left in the first half.
The Bulldogs had another chance when Alexa Newfield fired one high and wide after Madeline Barker settled in the middle and Newfield ran onto it with 17:02 remaining. Moments later, defender Bailey Powell took her chances sliding up from defense to the attack, and fired a laser at the keeper but it was pulled in.
Georgia continued to threaten for that second goal, and it finally came when Barker sent one inside that hit the crossbar and the fingertips of keeper Kelly McCormick, and Meghan Gibbons was there to put home the rebound to make it 2-0 with 9:04 left in the first. That score would hold through the first 45:00 with Georgia outshooting Ole Miss 13-4 to that point.
Just after the break, the Bulldogs kept the offense going as Newfield took full advantage of a set piece opportunity on the right, sending a ball directly to Nikki Hill on the far post, and Hill didn't miss - sending it past McCormick for her first career goal and Georgia's third of the afternoon. Georgia now has a total of 11 different players in the scoring column in 2011.
"The third goal was critical and kept the momentum in our favor," Holeman said. "Credit Ole Miss, they kept fighting `til the end."
Ole Miss had a great look not long after, as Erin Emerson fired one at Ashley Baker, who rose to her left to poke it over the crossbar and out of danger.
The Bulldogs were active on the offensive end in the final 15 minutes of the second half, but the Ole Miss defense prevented any more scoring on the afternoon and it ended at 3-0.
"It was nice scoring early and having the 2-0 lead at halftime," Dennis said. "Coming into the second half we were more relaxed. We had the lead and could relax and keep scoring. We've struggled with possession at times and getting the ball up top, but today we did a great job of keeping it, switching through our midfield and staying relaxed."
Georgia ended ahead in the shot column, 24-8, firing 20 or more shots for the third time this season and now twice in a row after taking an astonishing 42 shots vs. MSU on Friday here. Newfield again led the way in that category for UGA, taking seven shots after firing 17 on Friday to mark a new school record, which was also good for second all-time in a single game in SEC history.
Georgia's seven-goal weekend is good for the most in a Friday-Sunday swing since scoring eight in a weekend twice in 2010, doing so vs. Utah and Kansas in August and again vs. Mercer and Georgia State in September.
The Bulldogs have now won double-digit games in 15 of the program's 17 seasons in existence dating back to the first in 1995. Today marked program win No. 201 all-time. Georgia is now 8-7-2 vs. the Rebels in the series.
The Bulldogs will look to continue to keep pace in the Southeastern Conference race as they hit the road next weekend to meet Vanderbilt on Fri., Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET before heading to Kentucky for Sunday's 4 p.m. meeting with the Wildcats in front of a national audience on ESPNU. Both games will feature live audio coverage as well as the Georgia Soccer Live Blog on Georgiadogs.com.